When I first started this blog, 3 years ago now, when it lived on a different website I had a series. The series was a collection of blog posts that told you guys my current musical obsessions. Today, I’d like to bring it back again. Music has saved my life on multiple occasions and I have a strong connection to those songs that really hit me on a personal level and as such I like to let others know about it. So today’s Musical Obsession is Madilyn Bailey’s ‘Wiser’ E.P.
Anyone that knows me will know that I have grown up heavily affected by YouTube. Some days I’m a little shy about saying that because you can get some weird looks for saying such a thing. But mostly I’m proud of it, some of it’s greatest pioneers are a part of my generation. As a shy and introverted boy it makes sense that I spent a lot of time on YouTube and as a result is not a surprise it affected me so much. I remember first really being involved in watching YouTube around 2008/9. I was 13 and not really feeling all that safe in my own skin. I spent a lot of time in my room, trying to distract myself from the frightening thoughts running through my mind. YouTube was my confidant, my comedy relief… in a sense my second school.
If you asked me “Who were your main channels to go to when you were younger?” the answer would be Christina Grimmie, Tyler Ward, Alex G, Kurt Schneider, Sam Tsui and Madilyn Bailey. There were a LOT more, but these were the ones I watched religiously. Madilyn, today, has released an E.P. by the name of ‘Wiser’. Which is so exciting. Why? Because it’s her first original E.P. where she has the chance to show us the stories she’s always wanted to tell us. What’s more is she spent four years on it. It’s a product that after such work and patience to create it feels as though it has been handcrafted to perfection.
I’ve always believed that watching and appreciating people that are similar ages to you for so long feels as though you are growing up with them. Madilyn started YouTube in 2008, roughly when I started watching YouTube, Madilyn being one of the first people I watched. She would have been 15/16 and I would have been 12/13. That’s only 3 years difference, she is in fact my sisters age. So imagine growing up watching someone, only a few years older than you are chasing their dreams, and growing more popular. Online or in real life, it still makes an impact. I am incredibly proud of the way that my own sister has grown, and the way that she is at 23, going on 24. At the same time, I also feel a pride to see how Madilyn has done at 23, going on 24. It’s similar. I grew up with both, but in different ways.
I just want to start off by saying I adore the concept of ‘Wiser’. It’s a simple thought, but one that people seem to still forget. We are made ‘wiser’ by the bad things that happen to us. ‘Wiser’ explores that idea, by presenting 5 personals songs about how Madilyn has felt wiser from different stories of strife. The title track is one of the most general, it perfectly introduces us into the idea of the EP and empowers people to take the negatives and turn them into positives. It makes you want to shout from the roofs in confidence, and show the world you’re not hurt anymore. WHO CAN NOT LOVE THAT? I’ll be straight with you as much as I can, I don’t want to take away the wonderful universality of the EP but it is one of the most personal to me I’ve heard. I come from a rocky, and emotional childhood, several different things happened, one after another and it felt like things wouldn’t stop. My mental state was continually falling, and rising, and falling and I was constantly in a state of confusion. Yet, friends, YouTube, certain members of family and councilors have helped to make me realise how strong those events made me. So at the age of 21, about to graduate from University and listen to the words “because of you, I will always be a survivor” I feel so motivated and inspired.
Because this is different from just a review, and because you need to experience it all for yourself I want to just talk about 1 other song. It is really hard though to decide which I want to talk about. In an EP when all 5 tracks make me feel as though they are speaking to me and my life, which do I chose? Well, I guess, for the 2nd and last song I want to talk about with you today, I’ll chose Survive.
Holy moly is this a good song. Okay so let me first explain my connection to it, once again, and why it’s so personal (the whole idea of this series). As I explained earlier I haven’t had the best of lives, and I always believe that you’ve gotta take the bad stuff and use it for inspiration. The song speaks to this. It talks of how “mountains will always need to be climbed” and how maybe we’ve “gotta get lost before” we’re found. So much of what I know, and what I believe in now has come from being lost, or climbing a figurative mountain and making it to the top. Truthfully the song is sung as if it is a sad ballad, but similar to others on the EP, it’s more empowering than anything. It takes the feeling of being sad, and then goes against it, singing of power, of control and taking the bad and making it good. Madilyn sings with conviction that we should embrace everything that comes our way, no matter what it is. The song reaches into the scars of life and remembers to use them to remind us what they can actually do to us and reminding ourselves that we have a life, and we deserve to live it with love.
Try to protect yourself from those that want to hurt you, but if you do get hurt, listen to Madilyn and realise how much wiser it can make you.
Buy it on iTunes and stream it on Spotify! Go Go Go.